Live view/electronic horizon


CMW

Link Posted 20/02/2013 - 19:52
I've had my K5 for a few years now, but have almost never bothered with live view for taking pictures. However, last weekend I decided to give it a try and found the display inadequate, even though set to brightest setting. I realize any display is going to struggle in sunlight, so this is a comparative observation (looking also at a few other screens on other camera models in the same lighting situations) rather than expecting the unattainable. Even when I could see the screen by draping a dark cloth over the camera, I couldn't see the lowest part of the image because it was overlaid by shooting info, rather than that info being set apart. I then used the electronic level (which I usually ignore in the viewfinder)and found it inaccurate to a noticeable degree. Have others had the same experience? If so, does the mk II offer an improvement. Meanwhile, I'm going back to using the viewfinder and making old-fashioned checks on the straightness of the horizon.
Regards, Christopher

ChristopherWheelerPhotography

simonkit

Link Posted 20/02/2013 - 20:17
The electonic horizon issue has been discussed quite a few times before, quite disappointing that Pentax added such a feature & didn't make sure it was accurate

Must admit that I find Live View extremely useful and use it often, great for taking long exposure photos of waterfalls/flowing water, never had an issue with the brightness

Simon
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Chrism8

Link Posted 20/02/2013 - 20:32
I've found live view very useful and generally line up the horizon or other detail by eye rather than rely on the the electronic level ( needs to look right in camera ) and as Simon mentons above, not had any issue with brightness.
Chris

www.chrismillsphotography.co.uk

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McGregNi

Link Posted 20/02/2013 - 21:41
Are you saying the inacuracies of the electronic level are the system itself or just the 'Attitude Indicator' display on the rear LCD? On the K7 I make use of the horizon indicators in the viewfinder and have found them very accurate.
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simonkit

Link Posted 20/02/2013 - 23:02
McGregNi wrote:
Are you saying the inacuracies of the electronic level are the system itself or just the 'Attitude Indicator' display on the rear LCD? On the K7 I make use of the horizon indicators in the viewfinder and have found them very accurate.

It seems like a calibration issue as different owners report theirs to be accurate or inaccurate by differing amounts...I use a 3.50 hotshoe bubble level instead

Simon
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Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 20/02/2013 - 23:08
simonkit wrote:
Must admit that I find Live View extremely useful and use it often, great for taking long exposure photos of waterfalls/flowing water

Not wanting to sidetrack the discussion, but why? Having never tried live view specifically for these sorts of subjects, how is it different to using the viewfinder?

As far as the original post is concerned, I can't say I've ever thought the screen particularly dim, and the bottom section of the screen is used for shooting info simply because the screen is a different aspect ratio to the image, and this bit would otherwise be wasted. It's not hiding a bit of the image, it's just blank area, very handy for putting info in.

Dan
K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...

davidstorm

Link Posted 20/02/2013 - 23:20
Live view is great, especially when taking photos in dim light indoors, most useful when subjects are static. It's also great when using 10 stop filters outdoors as you can still see the image clearly.

Electronic level is a joke, very inaccurate and liable to go out of calibration for no apparent reason. A complete waste of time, best to stick with your own eyes and experience. Horizon adjustment is switched off on my K-5 as it made all my images cock-eyed. I sent it back to Pentax for this, it was re-calibrated and OK, then went off calibration again in a few weeks. I won't bother with it again.

Regards
David
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simonkit

Link Posted 20/02/2013 - 23:39
Daniel Bridge wrote:
simonkit wrote:
Must admit that I find Live View extremely useful and use it often, great for taking long exposure photos of waterfalls/flowing water

Not wanting to sidetrack the discussion, but why? Having never tried live view specifically for these sorts of subjects, how is it different to using the viewfinder?

Dan

Hi Dan...because it does what it says on the tin, gives you a Live view of the scene in front of you so as you adjust your shutter speed to obtain the desired "blur" you actually see the effect it has as your changing it which looking through a viewfinder simply can't achieve. You also get live feedback on blown highlights, dark shadows using both the histogram & "blinkies"

Not talking about you personally but I read comments on forums etc from "old school" photographers who are adamant that the new technologies employed in modern cameras are of no use, I couldn't disagree more and don't understand the resistance of some...my theory is take advantage of all the functions the manufacturers provide us with whenever they might be of use, that also includes pre-programmed settings as I'm finding out on my new Sony RX100, many of them do actually work extremely well. The only time I don't use them is when they don't work correctly (electronic level).IMHO A camera is simply a tool to be used to create a photograph (or video these days), however you use it to do so doesn't matter in the slightest if you get the end result you wanted...sorry, sounds like I turned this into a bit of a rant Give Live View a go Dan, you may be pleasantly suprised

Simon
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Last Edited by simonkit on 20/02/2013 - 23:44

Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 20/02/2013 - 23:52
Oh I do use live view Simon, often for macro shots when the ability to zoom in and check focus is wonderful, I just wouldn't have expected to have the effect of say a 1 second shutter speed shown on the screen, I would have assumed the screen just uses a constant refresh rate. In fact I just tried it, and as far as I can see, changing the shutter speed made no difference to the view. Next time I'm near a waterfall (not so often over here in Essex), I will try it. I can certainly see the benefit of the live histogram and 'blinkies'.

And I whole-heartedly agree with your second paragraph.

Dan
K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...

CMW

Link Posted 20/02/2013 - 23:54
Thanks for the comments. It's a pity about the electronic level - it's not essential but since it's there, it's rather unfortunate to have a feature that cannot be relied upon. Dan you are of course right: I remembered wrongly. But what does overlay the bottom part of LV, albeit in grey, is the exposure scale and histogram and it was those that were hiding a clear check on the bottom of the picture. Perhaps they can be turned off (?). In light of others' comments, my screen may simply not be firing on all four cylinders - as I mentioned, I did have the opportunity to check it with a few other displays, on Nikons, Canons, etc (but alas on no other Pentax), and it was definitely the dim cousin!
Regards, Christopher

ChristopherWheelerPhotography

Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 21/02/2013 - 00:05
Take a look in the menu, number 4 in the shooting menu, second option down is 'Live View'. Take a look in there, and you can turn off the grid, Info, histogram and bright/dark area warnings.
K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...

judderman62

Link Posted 21/02/2013 - 00:21
my personal experience:

Live view is fab and I use it a lot of the time - almost 100% of the time when using a tripod - which is a lot of my photography.

The level indicator on the other hand is a very unfunny joke.

never had problems with live view unless in very bright/strong sunlight ...and I live in England so it's not really very often a problem
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Mike

Pentax K5 / Pentax K5 11/ Pentax K200D / Canon Rebel T1 i / Canon 650D / Pentax MX-1 / Fuji XF1 /Fuji X 10 / Canon EOS-M / Canon G10/ Pentax Mz-7 x 2

CMW

Link Posted 21/02/2013 - 10:07
Daniel Bridge wrote:
Take a look in the menu, number 4 in the shooting menu, second option down is 'Live View'. Take a look in there, and you can turn off the grid, Info, histogram and bright/dark area warnings.

Thanks Dan
Regards, Christopher

ChristopherWheelerPhotography

simonkit

Link Posted 21/02/2013 - 22:00
One thing I forgot to mention about Live View is that it's a great tool to use for focusing for landscape photographs. Activate the "rule of thirds" grid & the selective focus point and you can achieve focusing for maximum DOF much easier than you can through the viewfinder, it's much easier to judge & focus at the hyperfocal distance too when not using the lens scale, if of course it has one

Simon
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